Photos and recipe courtesy of Pocono.
Hook: Tiemco 300 6x long; #12.
Wrap black Uni 6/0 thread back to the hook barb.
Tie in the tail; I use Pheasant tail; 4-5 barbules. You can also use long brown hackle barbs. I tie this pattern to Catskills proportions, so the tail is one shank length. I wind the pheasant tail up on the shank to a point about 1/4 back from the eye, then cut off any extra (yes, I was a little shakey with the camera on this pic).
Bring the thread back to the tail and tie in the hackle. I use Metz dry fiy hackle; brown (furnace, actually), tip tied with the dull side facing me.
Wind the thread back to the 1/4 point and tie in the peacock herl. I use 3 strands; some of my buddies use 4 strands; your choice. Run it back to the hackle and then forward again to the 1/4 point.
Then wind the herl up to the 1/4 point and tie it off (10-11 turns should get you there). Do not cut off the herl!
Palmer the hackle up to the 1/4 point. I reverse palmer the hackle; because I want the maximum barb length sticking up. If you want less, then follow the herl and palmer as normal. Tie off the hackle.
Cut off the hackle and take a couple of thread wraps in front of the herl. Join the 3 herl fibers and tuck them out of the way towards the back end of the hook (I use mini hackle pliers and simply hang them off the back of my Regal vise).
Cut about 1/8" of gray squirrel tail hair bundle; orient the tail fibers in a semi-rounded pattern and tie them in ahead of the herl. I use one loop wrap to get the bundle under control, pull to snug them down on the hook, then use two pinch wraps followed by about 10 tight wraps forward towards the eye.
Cut off the squirrel tail fiber butts on a diagonal (same angle as the hook eye). Wrap the thread tightly over the butt fibers; winding towards the eye and build a good thread base for the herl.
Wind the 3 strands of herl forward over the squirrel tail bundle and leave the thread about 1/8" from the eye. Tie off the herl and form the head.
Finish building up the head, whip finish and cost with SHHAN (thanks - Joni!).
This is a fly from 1915. It was originally ties by Jack Boehme of Missoula, MT. The name came from the Montana/Wyoming nickname for prairie dogs (picket pins), who stood so upright on the prairie that they looked like the pickets that the cowboys used to stake out their horses. I'm a little short on prairie up here in the Poconos, so I substituted gray squirrel tail.
It's an easy tie. Enjoy!